Gandhinagar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday inaugurated the biggest ever five-day-long defence exhibition ‘DefExpo 2022’ at Mahatma Mandir Convention and Exhibition Centre here in Gujarat.
The 12th edition of the event has been organised on the theme ‘Path to Pride’.
The Prime Minister also unveiled HTT-40- the indigenous trainer aircraft designed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.
“This Defence Expo is the first Defence Expo where only Indian companies are participating with Made in India Defence products. This has more than 1,300 exhibitors, MSMEs, academia, start-ups, and Research and Development establishments,” Modi said.
“The DefExpo will provide a stage for comprehensive dialogue amongst various nations to promote defence cooperation to foster peace, growth, stability, and prosperity,” he added.
Expressing pleasure at Indian companies exporting defence equipment to countries like the US and Italy, the Prime Minister said that with Make in India scripting success, India’s defence exports have increased eight-fold with exports to over 75 countries.
“Our defence exports have grown 8 times in the last 5 years. We are exporting defence materials and equipment to more than 75 countries of the world. In 2021-22 Defence exports from India reached $1.59 billion that means about Rs 13000 crore. And in the coming time, we have set a target to reach 5 billion dollars, that would mean Rs 40,000 crore,” he said.
“From the land of Iron Man, Sardar Patel we are setting an example of the capabilities of India before the world. The Expo has more than 1300 exhibitors which include the India Defence Industry, some joint ventures associated with Indian Defence Industry, MSMEs and more than 100 startups,” he continued.
Modi informed that more than 400 MoUs are being signed for the first time ever.
“The world’s expectations from India have increased, and I assure the world community that India will fulfil them. Therefore, this Defense Expo is also a symbol of global trust towards India,” he said.
Modi also announced the 4th positive indigenisation list of 101 items during the event.
“I am happy to share that, 101 more defence equipment have been included in the Make in India list,” he said.
The Defence Ministry had earlier promulgated first, second and third Positive Indigenisation Lists comprising 310 items on August 21, 2020, May 31, 2021 and April 07, 2022 respectively.
All the items included in the above lists are listed to be procured from indigenous defence manufacturers.
The Prime Minister also launched Mission Defence Space to develop innovative solutions for the Defence Forces in the Space domain through industry and startups.
“Space technology is an example of what security will mean for any strong nation in the future. Various challenges in this area have been reviewed and identified by the three services. We have to work fast to solve them,” the Prime Minister said.
“Mission Defence Space will not only encourage innovation and strengthen our forces but also provide new and innovative solutions,” he added.
Modi highlighted that space technology is shaping new definitions of India’s generous space diplomacy, giving rise to new possibilities.
“Many African countries and many other small countries are benefiting from this. There are more than 60 developing countries with whom India is sharing its space science. The South Asia satellite is an effective example. By next year, 10 ASEAN countries will also get real-time access to India’s satellite data. Even developed countries like Europe and America are using our satellite data,” he explained.
The Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone of Deesa Airfield in Banaskantha district of Gujarat. The forward airforce base is just 130 km from the Indo-Pak border and it is believed to add on to the security architecture of the country.
“The construction of Deesa Airfield is also an important achievement for the security of the country and the development of that region. Deesa is only 130 km from the International Border. If our forces, especially our Indian Air Force, is in Deesa, we will better respond any misadventure emanating on the Western Border,” the Prime Minister said.
“After coming to the government, we decided to set up an operational base in Deesa, and this expectation of our forces is being fulfilled today. This region will now become an effective centre of security of the country,” he added.